Monte Santa Maria Tiberina

Monte Santa Maria Tiberina has an incredibly long name for one of the tiniest hilltop towns in the Upper Tiber Valley!  The photo to the left is taken from Villa Bastiola (holiday villa for rent in Umbria) and is the peak in the distance with the castle tower silhouetted against the skyline. It’s worth a […]

Montone

Montone is a gorgeous, medieval hilltop town, just 15 minutes drive from Villa Bastiola. Unlike many of the other small villages in the area, Montone’s medieval history is not as turbulent, coming under the control of legendary mercenry, Braccio Fortebraccio di Montone, although it did end up being annexed to the Papal States in the […]

Gubbio

Gubbio is 30 minutes drive to the east of Villa Bastiola and is well worth a day trip. Steeped in history, this Umbrian town is incredibly old and you can see signs of its Umbri, Roman and medieval history as you walk through the town. Called Ikuvium, it was home to the ancient Umbri (around […]

Citta di Castello

Citta’ di Castello is a thriving market town in the north of Umbria, in an area known as the Upper Tiber Valley.  Founded by Umbri tribes, the Romans called it Tifernum Tiberinum or Civitas Tiberina (City on the Tiber) which is the river that flows across Italy and down to Rome. During the medieval times, the […]

Vineyards in the Vale of Umbra

So many people have heard of the famous Tuscan wines and super-reds like Chianti Classico DOC, Tignanello and Sassicaia but not so many know of the wonderful Umbrian wines that rival these in quality and taste.  A day trip down to the Vale of Umbra (about 45 minutes drive from Villa Bastiola) is worth doing, […]

Voted “most comfortable beds in Italy”!

Just reading back through the guest book for Villa Bastiola, I was delighted by a comment from guests saying that the beds at the villa are the “most comfortable in Italy”!  Writing the website, a lot of time goes into making sure that the correct keywords are there for google to pick up like “Villa”, […]

My favourite things… part 2…

Just as Umbria has gorgeous hand-painted pottery, so it has beautiful linens and none more so than the stunning range in Busatti, master linen makers since 1797. The flagship store is in Anghiari, a beautiful medieval hilltop town, just over the border in Tuscany, about 30 minutes drive from Villa Bastiola. I first visited the […]

My favourite things to do in Umbria…

I thought I would start a series of posts about the things that I loved to do when I was living at Villa Bastiola in Umbria. There’s so many it’s hard to know where to start. Just enjoying the culture, the history, the traditions, the food, the wine… It’s endless.  But maybe you didn’t know […]

Infiorata at Spello – 28th & 29th May 2016

Spello is truly one of Umbria’s most lovely gems!  Nestling away on the hillside between Assisi and Spoleto, it is an enchanting hilltop town with a wealth of history.  See medieval walls, Roman archways, renaissance painting and enjoy the cafes, ice cream parlours and restaurants that this little town has to offer. During May and […]

Calendimaggio in Assisi 4 – 7 May 2016

So many reasons to visit Umbria… The stunning celebrations in Assisi at the beginning of May called Calendimaggio is just one!  Combine a stay at Villa Bastiola with a visit to Assisi (45 minutes drive away) and enjoy this fantastic festival. The origins of the Assisi festival of Calendimaggio go back to Roman times with the […]